Reviewed by Garret Rose

Lindsey Faye takes us to the world (and underworld) of New York in the year 1845 in her riveting historical fiction, The Gods of Gotham. The backdrop of the story revolves around the formation of New York City’s first police force and the mass immigration of the Irish, fleeing from the devastating potato famine. The interweaving of fiction and reality along with the use of flash dialogues via the 1845 street rat gives the reader an authentic experience that feels genuine and encapsulating.

As documented and portrayed in this mystery, the response to the Irish immigration is not one to be savored. Catholics are frowned upon as Faye uses actual documents written from diverse sources to begin each chapter. As murders pile up in vile fashion, the Irish become the natural culprits.

The protagonist is Timothy Wilde, a newly minted NYPD officer who has a knack for reading between the lines; a necessary skill for the adventure he is about to embark on. Timothy’s older brother Val convinced him to join the force and within a short while, Timothy is thrown into the dark and unforgiving underworld of New York. When he literally runs into Bird Daly, a pre-teen fleeing for her life, he is forced to reconcile his relationship with his voracious-living brother as he tries to complete the puzzle before him.

Introverted and prone to lying, Bird gives little clues as Timothy tries to unravel the mysteries involved in a series of gruesome murders. Just when he thinks he has figured out the truth, reality gives him a new perspective. As the blame is heaped upon the new inhabitants of New York, Timothy finds out that there is more than meets the eye with every character he interacts with.

Part history, part fiction, the sum whole of this novel is a mysterious adventure that will keep one guessing and on the edge of their seat until the last page. The Gods of Gotham is a dark and wild page turner that captivates throughout. Once finished, the reader will be craving for the next offering from Lindsay Faye.

Rating: ★★★★★ 

Garret loves literature! He is creating the Vernal Journal for his students as well as anyone else that is interested in literature – be it fiction, non-fiction, poetry, drama, or even miscellaneous! Garret’s goal is to share, review and make connections to the world and each other.

Review copy was provided free of any obligation by Amy Einhorn Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.